Tinsley Mortimer Story
The Japanese fashion industry has always admired fashionable individuals and style setters so it is no surprise that Manhattan’s popular “It Girl”, Tinsley Mortimer, and Japanese handbag giant Samantha Thavasa jumped at the chance to join together and make their mark on the Japanese fashion industry.
Tinsley Mortimer grew up in the southern town of Richmond, VA with strong American roots as a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and James Madison. She attended The Lawrenceville School, a prestigious boarding school in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She then enrolled in Columbia College at Columbia University where she received a BA in Art History and was a member of their Division I tennis team. Upon graduating she accepted her first job at Vogue as a fashion and beauty assistant which then led to many other opportunities in the fashion industry.
In 2006 Samantha Thavasa approached Tinsley about designing a special handbag line under her own name. They had been following her presence in New York society and admired her style as well as her contributions with many of the New York charities. The first Samantha Thavasa by Tinsley Mortimer collection debuted for Winter/Resort 2006. “I wanted to create a collection that reflected my style and design bags that I would truly wear,” says Ms. Mortimer. She has kept the same distinctive silhouettes in each of the collections ranging from chic oversized handbags to everyday totes and elegant evening clutches. Materials include pebbled leather, printed croc, canvas and woven straw - each accented with signature TM hardware made of either Swarovski crystals or gold plating.
Over the past four seasons, Tinsley has designed over 30 handbag variations for the Samantha Thavasa brand. Her line is currently sold in the Japanese market throughout Samantha Thavasa's ever expanding stores. Presently, there are 160 to date. After the success of Tinsley's handbag line in Japan, she launched her own clothing line, Riccimie by Tinsley Mortimer, in the Fall of 2007. The collection premiered in Riccimie's flagship store in the fashionable Aoyama district and due to it's popularity, is now available in 6 Riccimie stores throughout Japan, including Tokyo's famous Isetan department store.